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Magnet status

by dec2007 dec2007 (Member)

My hospital was recently awarded "Magnet" status. I'm interested to know how other nurses view this distinction. Is it a valid reflection of the quality of patient care and employee satisfaction? Would anyone care to share their impression of the process leading to a facility receiving the award? Just interested in hearing the experiences of nurses from various regions. Thanks for your input.

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

Marketing gimmick for the facility.

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 28 years experience.

Marketing gimmick for the facility.

Exactly...usually satisfaction plummets right after being awarded. At least at the 2 hospitals I worked at

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

I actually did a paper about this as part of my Master's program. All along I've felt that it was a marketing gimmick, and if hospitals would just walk the talk, they wouldn't need special awards or designations. The research I did has mostly changed my mind. There is a definite correlation between hospitals that have Magnet designation and decreased mortality/morbidity, patient falls, and patient outcomes (yeah, correlation does not equal causation, yadda yadda). Also, for hospitals that have the designation or are in the process of seeking it, there is a significant increase in employee engagement and employee satisfaction. It's true that it's higher at the hospitals that are SEEKING it, and it drops somewhat for those that already have it. But those that have it are still much higher than those that don't have it at all (in general).

So for the most part, I'm a proponent. I still think it's imperfect and there is always room for improvement. I remember reading a white paper published by some nursing group regarding what they think Magnet SHOULD look like, and one of the things that stuck out for me was the requirement that all nursing unit managers should be required to work the floor 20% of the time. I think that's a FABULOUS idea.


Specializes in public health, women's health, reproductive health.

Relatively new nurse here, but from what I have seen and experienced, my view of magnet status is "whatever". When/if I move on to other nursing jobs, I am learning what to ask/find out before I attempt to jump in —and whether the hospital is magnet status has no bearing whatsoever to me at this point. I could go on about illusions and fluff, but I'll leave it at that. :-) Good day.

~PedsRN~, BSN, RN

Specializes in Acute Care Pediatrics. Has 4 years experience.

Absolutely true for my facility... awarded magnet last year, and this year our satisfaction was the lowest it has been in ages. Its like they butter us up and then poop all over us. LOL!


Specializes in Oncology; medical specialty website.

I remember reading a white paper published by some nursing group regarding what they think Magnet SHOULD look like, and one of the things that stuck out for me was the requirement that all nursing unit managers should be required to work the floor 20% of the time. I think that's a FABULOUS idea.

When pigs fly.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

Hope springs eternal


Specializes in ICU/PACU. Has 10 years experience.

Isn't it paid for? I know certain things like shared governance, volunteer work, etc.. are required. But really, some of the worst hospitals I've worked at have been Magnet certified.

I took a job at another hospital because it was Magnet . Previous hospital was not Magnet. Honestly , after working at a Magnet for 4 years now I do believe it's just for show . I really enjoy my job , especially cause of my co -workers but in terms of increased RN satisfaction, pay etc... I would say it really lacks . Our turn over is very high! If Magnet really is what the hospital says it is then I certainly would see a way better staff retention or at least a plan for it .

Oh and to add to the above the Magnet hospitals hire primarily BSN prepared nurses . The only difference of an ADN vs. BSN are just a few management classes and community health . There are no major RN classes /clinicals being taken out of the ADN curriculum . I have my BSN and some of the best nurses I work with are ADN . It boggles my mind when a hospital turns down an exceptional RN who has great experience just because he/she has an ADN. Then they hire a new grad BSN instead just because they have a BSN. Experience is more valuable then the letters . Nothing against new grads at all (I recently was one and it's tough out there.) My venting comes from very experienced nurses voicing their frustration over not being hired because of their degree , even with many years of great experience .

My Opinion of Magnet:

- Magnet hospitals provide better care because they are usually larger care centers with more resources than smaller networks which lack the resources to adequately staff or provide emergent care for patient status changes.

- Magnet hospitals attract younger talent because of BSN and certification requirements. I've observed that this leads to increased turnover because staff nurses go to grad school and get different jobs every couple years. For example, I have been an RN since Sept. 2012 and will quit when I finish grad school in a year.

- Magnet hospitals rely more heavily on pool nursing staff because they are young and in school and would rather take better pay; knowing they won't do the job as a long term career.

- There are usually a few educators whose job it is to oversee the whole magnet process. Their livelihood is at stake here so they do everything in their power to trump up the benefits of the designation.

- Magnet hurts career staff nurses

lavenderskies, BSN

Has 32 years experience.

I think it's interesting that part of the criteria for being magnet isn't staff RN retention. Maybe it is but it rates low? I don't know but it seems anecdotally turnover is high at magnet facilities.

Edited by lavenderskies
ugh! nighttime phone typos

calivianya, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

My facility is Magnet and it's terrible. We have people leaving left and right to escape - and I'm not talking about people going back to school. I don't know if it's the hospital or my unit, really - we have recently lost people to outpatient PACU, outpatient dialysis, physician offices, inpatient PACU, and now we have someone going to the OR - but all of these are at different facilities and most are at different health systems altogether. There's not a single person that I'm aware of going to a different ICU, either outside of my system or in it.

One plus for new grads is that, I believe, there must be a new grad RN residency (or whatever the facility) wants to call it program.


Specializes in psych and geriatric. Has 5 years experience.

I left my job at a Magnet hospital largely because as an Associate's degree nurse, not a Bachelor's, I was definitely feeling squeezed out and pressured to leave. I'd like to get my BSN, but finances won't allow it just now and I was definitely unwelcome. Nor am I the only one to feel the push.

Voluntary departure contributes to turnover rates. Younger staff with no biting to remain staff nurses long term quit a lot- decreasing retention rates.

NurseOnAMotorcycle, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Emergency, CEN. Has 10 years experience.

The original idea of a magnet hospital was that it was like a magnet for staff because they are treated well and encouraged (not forced) to get higher degrees. When the staff is treated well, then patient outcomes and satisfaction rises.

Hospitals want to be known for being excellent, so they have turned that into "You will be magnet OR ELSE!" and force policies and BSNs on everyone to show how much happier their workforce is than others.